I remember doing a post on here about what my thoughts on maturity are, and how it is just a word that people shoe-horn in to a given situation to justify how they feel about stuff. I recently had another concept that was brought to my attention to think about in a very serious way – being a grown-up. I went out to dinner with somebody last night. It was a nice time, though there was this one part where we suddenly had nothing to talk about. It got REALLY awkward. Oh well, all’s well that ends well.
He brought up that he is working to pursue what he considers a “grown-up” lifestyle, looking for a wife, potentially having a kid or kids, and having a very stable career path that he views as realistic. While I am glad that he has a path, I’m not gonna lie, that sounds REALLY boring to me. I mean like watching paint dry, while watching grass grow, while watching Samuel L. Jackson do his taxes. It’s that boring. But listening to him talk about it, it got me to thinking – what do I think is grown-up?
I am 23 years old. Not old enough to really be much of anything, which doesn’t bother me. But at this age, people are expecting one to have some kind of working understanding of where I am going, and to be working to get the kind of lifestyle that is considered normal, or ordinary. That’s what it is, ordinary. Kids, a wife, the white picket fence, it’s all just so granola. And it is the last thing on Earth that I want.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be alone. I just am not looking to get married. I’m not a religious man, so I don’t see the religious aspect of it. The financial parts make sense, but after my fiance died, I just stopped wanting that. Instead, I have chosen to simply pursue love with somebody, and I hope that we can find a way to be together, based on what both of us want.
And don’t even get me started about kids. I hate kids. I don’t know what it is, but they just bug me. There was an moment when I talked about this where it got under his skin, like my disapproval of children sparked something unpleasant. Yes, because everybody has to love kids, right? I’m not against people having them. Do what you feel, it’s the belief that I live by. But for me, the very idea makes me shiver. I can just see it now, trapped in a vehicle with kids, a potential wife, and nothing but time and conversation. Somebody’s American Dream. My nightmare. I could talk to a partner about many things, since I am looking for a person who is intelligent and who I can relate to, but kids, what is there to talk about?
Hey Johnny, did you get an A in spelling?
Yeah, the very idea of having such a conversation elicits some of my gag-reflex. I can’t talk about nothing. I need my conversations to be meaty. Small-talk is one thing that I cannot do. It’s the reason that I’m probably not going to be going to my family reunion. At a place with the family, and nothing but time and small-talk, count me out. I’m not much of a family person anyway.
But is having a family and all that part of what it means to be a grown-up? The person I ate with seems to think so. What does it all mean? These questions are not so easily answered, and sadly, the more I try and think it out, the less and less certain I feel. I had a conversation with my cousin the other day. She is one of my best friends, and one of my all-around favorite people. We ended up talking, and we both realized that we were talking about job markets, grant money, and stuff like that. Stuff that adults always seem to talk about. Is that what it is? Is being a grown-up being concerned with stuff like that?
It is a complete mystery to me. The more I age, the less I feel like I belong. My thoughts are about the random things that enter my mind, about random and usually not useful in life topics, such as a good story, either one I am writing, reading, watching or playing in video games. I think about these worlds I create in fiction, and it always leaves me feeling pretty proud. I am very good at coming up with all the elements of it, because I can see it all played out in my mind, like a really long movie.
Every time my mind settles on this stuff, I get rather unnerved, because I don’t really know what I am supposed to do. What is the grown-up thing? What is this mysterious thing that all adults just instinctively know to do when it comes to handling their stuff in life? Is the person I had dinner with right? Are adults supposed to get married, have kids, and all of that stuff? What is the correct way to be?
If you are looking for my opinion about what being a grown-up is, my best thought would be that it is just what the literal definition is – growing older. You are no longer a child, you are now a fully-grown adult. That’s it. I just can’t see anything else being involved with it.
Look, what you want to do with your life is your business. If you want marriage, kids and the white picket fence, good for you. It is a desire that I do not share, but what you want from life is your own. What do I want? Peace of mind. That would be a good start. A good story, too. I am always on a search for the elusive good story. To see great artwork, as I posted above. Oh, and if you think nude paintings are wrong, get a grip. The nude form is beautiful.
Of course, I want love too. My fiance is gone, but she wouldn’t want me to be alone, and I don’t want to be alone. I am trying to find somebody who is who they are. There are a couple of people, but they are both taken, and I realize that pining over them is pointless. So I keep going. If life decides to be nice to me, good. If not, I get it. I’ve never really gotten a good deal from Lady Luck before.
What does it mean to be a grown-up? I think I’ll let the end quote say it.
Until next time, a quote,
“Because the truth hurts, Jazmine. The world is a hard and lonely place and nobody get anything for free, and you wanna know what else – you and everyone you know is gonna die.” -Huey Freeman,The Boondocks